Stenson hoping to retain title

Published: Wednesday 19th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Former European number one Henrik Stenson wants to rediscover the formula which saw him create history last year by successfully defending a tournament for the first time in his career.

Stenson’s last victory of a phenomenal 2013 came in the DP World Tour Championship and ensured he became the first man to win the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai in the same year.

Unsurprisingly the 38-year-old has been unable to reproduce such success this season, although he returns to Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai in second place on the money list behind world number one Rory McIlroy, whose four wins – including two majors – helped him wrap up the Race to Dubai title with a week to spare.

“L ast year was very special and I know it can’t be as special this year because Rory has already won the overall race,” said Stenson, who was 25 under par in beating Ian Poulter by six shots here 12 months ago.

“B ut I can make it a very special week for myself by playing well here and hopefully give myself a chance to win. I haven’t defended a title as of yet, so I couldn’t think of a much better place to do it than here this week.

“I’m pretty pleased with the overall performance this year. It was always going to be a tough one and, especially early in the season, it was tough. I was battling a bit of fatigue and when you’re tired you don’t have the energy to practise and get going with the game and then it just becomes a bit of a bad cycle.

“From late spring onwards it’s been quite all right and I contended in a few events and had a couple of strong results. Overall it’s not a bad season by any means. I think I got close to 200 world ranking points on the board, which is always a good indicator for a strong season. It’s a win that’s missing and hopefully I can take the opportunity here.”

Stenson was third in the Turkish Airlines Open on Sunday, his 26th event of a season which will end with the Hero World Challenge – hosted by Tiger Woods – from December 4-7.

“I’m excited about next year’s schedule,” added the world number four, who won three points from four matches in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Gleneagles in September. “I kind of had a great formula from 2012 and into 2013, and then I felt like I slipped out of that one a little bit due to a lot of different reasons.

” I’m excited about trying to get back into that, because it was a pretty good recipe I had. I want to get back to doing all the little bits and pieces right and focus on all those processes, rather than trying to find your game and work on your game when you’re out here. I’ll do that away from the tournaments. When I’m out here, I’m here to be fresh and be ready to compete.

“I played 31 tournaments in 2013, 28 this year and would like to get down to 26.”

Published: Wednesday 19th November 2014 by The News Editor

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